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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2000 Sep 23;144(39):1857-60.

[Decision making concerning very old patients with deteriorating health living at home].

[Article in Dutch]

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A woman aged 87 and three men aged 87, 86 and 83, respectively, lived at home or in an old-people's home, in poor physical condition due to old age and diseases such as COPD and heart failure. One man was demented, the others did not wish hospital admission in case of further deterioration. When the condition worsened due to infections and fractures, the GP to a limited extent performed diagnostics and treatment. The four patients died, three of them after admission and intensive treatment because the restricted policy had not been communicated clearly. In decision-making about the management of geriatric patients, it is important that the GP knows the patient's wishes, correctly assesses his physical condition and prognosis and communicates well with the patient's next of kin and other care-givers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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